Contestant's Case to Win
This is based on the number of votes received.
When Heather Murphy had her first child, she started Baby Loves Disco as a reaction against the overpriced and overly corporatized kids events.
As a professional dancer she had the simple idea of playing real music (not dumbed down kids stuff) by real djs at a real nightclub. She was working as a full-time waitress while raising her son and the restaurant she served (the Latest Dish) had a nightclub on top of it (Fluid). She shared the idea with the club's owner coupled with the idea that the club was "dark" by day anyway. He was skeptical but agreed.
Heather wanted to keep the cost low and affordable - the goal was always to make it the same price as going to a movie (with popcorn!). There would be healthy organic snacks, all the juice boxes you can drink (she got Whole Foods to donate them) and built a "chill-out-zone" with toys, books and puzzles for kids that needed a quiet space to escape and for breast feeding moms to have some privacy. She kept the bar opened for non-driving parents- a small reward for working moms and dads who were certainly not going out at nights to clubs anymore anyway.
But at it's core, Heather wanted to create an event to breed community (this was all before Facebook or social networks). "It takes a village to raise a child" was the official mantra. And in between raising her son, taking care of her husband and waiting on tables, she crafted hand made signs and put them up around the city. Already heavily involved in the Philly Arts scene as a dancer she recruited the city's top DJ to come spin. She made goody bags. She wondered if anyone would show up.
By the time Heather arrived to set-up the event there was already some folks waiting online to buy tickets. By the time doors opened the line was around the block and the very first event sold out 5 minutes after doors opened.
Word spread quickly and plans were made to bring the event to New York City upon the urging of her friend and music industry executive Andy Hurwitz. The first Baby Loves Disco in New York City sold out just as the Philly event did. The second event was featured in the New York Times and soon Moms around the country were sending emails to Heather begging her to bring the event to their city. Within two years of the first party BLD was in 36 cities across the United States and in 7 countries worldwide including the UK, Japan, China, Poland, Israel, Dubai, Singapore and Korea.
But despite the event's popularity, the company was (and still is) barely breaking even because of Murphy's commitment to a low ticket price that was affordable to everybody. Additionally, Murphy wanted to harness the "Power of Moms" to do good for the world - and while BLD turned from a localized event to a touring entity in 2010, Murphy donated all proceeds to charity naming Alex's Lemonade Stand as the primary beneficiary.
Today the business continues to grow, but Heather (who was later diagnosed with Lupus) was forced to go back to work as a waitress to help make ends meet in these tough economic times.
In the 7 years BLD has been in business it has won countless awards, changed thousands of lives, raised thousands of dollars for charity and stands alone as the only childrens event designed for parents to interact, play and party WITH their children. She's refused to raise the ticket prices....and still works 5 days a week, taking care of her two children, her husband and waiting on tables.
I am now her business partner and am inspired by Heather everyday - ask anybody that's ever met her and you will hear nothing but glowing tales of how she's "the nicest person in the world" who's turned down money from big corporations that don't meet her high standards (she famously turned down a 6 figure sponsorship offer from a big diaper company b/c of the fact that diapers are not bio-degradable and instead took on the more eco-friendly "G-Diaper" brand.
Heather is a model citizen - an inspiration and someone that deserves recognition and reward. She started this business to connect people and connect families with each other - not to make money. It was all done without a single employee, or an office, or any advertising. She now stands at a point in her life where she could use some help to get over the hump and help grow her business. My humble opinion is that you would be hard pressed to find any Mom (or Dad) that's more deserving. And she would kill me for even submitting this but hey, it's time someone took care of the Mommy right?
VOTE FOR HEATHER.